Blog Post 1


After spending most of his career in training and development, Matt Kraft decided to make a change. He went back to school, received his MBA from Southern Methodist University, and joined Associa, the largest community management company in North America. Matt played an instrumental role in setting a new course and direction for the business, and here, he shares his experiences with leading a sales and marketing reorganization from the ground up.

You mentioned that you increased account sales by 40% within two years. How did you do it?

About four years ago we decided it was time to build an enterprise-wide sales structure with full-time business development people to fill in the gap created by leaders who were retiring and ensure that we kept growing. It took about a year to get the infrastructure in place, including the implementation of Salesforce. Since then, we’ve diligently worked to make the changes that led to the dramatic increase in sales, which were finding ways to get sales and marketing to work more closely together and collecting data into our CRM system. The result has been increased account sales, which naturally leads to higher revenues.

My key advice is to have a strategic plan: What are your big rocks to move? What are the milestones you’ll use to measure progress and the inch pebbles you’ll use to move those rocks? After a strategic plan, you definitely need a CRM for collecting and analyzing information. Many sales organizations have a limited ability to course-correct or maximize results because they have a limited view of what’s happening. At the end of the day, sales is all about results. In order to drive results, you have to have data. And in order to have data, you must have a CRM.

What’s your advice for a sales leader taking on a similar reorg?

You have to wade into it. It’s unreasonable to expect sales reps to input all the data you want on day one. The most important things to know are the data points your reps must start entering out of the gate and how you want to drive your sales people to give you that data. Keep it simple and straightforward in the beginning. Also, taking the time to show your sales reps the “why” behind your strategy and the reasons your CRM is critical for making that strategy work is incredibly important for adoption.

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